IBM Smarter Government Implementation To Help Reduce Reporting Burden For Australian Businesses

Standard Business Reporting deployment expected to deliver $800m in savings. IBM to provide ongoing application support under $2.7million agreement

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Sydney, Australia - 01 Jul 2010: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced the successful delivery of the Core Services IT platform that supports the Australian Federal Government’s Standard Business Reporting (SBR) initiative, which aims to save businesses time, money and effort through the provision of an online reporting capability.

From today, thousands of businesses across Australia can take advantage of streamlined reporting processes, enabling them to prepare and lodge statutory reports such as Business Activity Statements and financial statements faster, cheaper, and more accurately.

The multi-agency smarter government initiative, which involves 12 federal, state and territory authorities, is expected to save Australian businesses an estimated $800m each year once fully implemented.

Leveraging its global experience in complex systems integration, as well as its proven industry framework of software and hardware technologies, IBM Global Business Services delivered the Core Services IT platform, one of the five critical components of the SBR program.  SBR creates a system through which reporting information can be processed across multiple state and federal jurisdictions.

A 2006 report by the Australian Taskforce on Reducing Regulatory Burdens on Business found that regulatory compliance costs businesses tens of billions of dollars each year, and that much of this cost could be alleviated by regulatory reform.

The Federal Government subsequently commenced the SBR program as part of the broader national economy reform agenda, and in 2008 awarded IBM a AU$11.6 m contract for the design of the core services component of the program.  Following successful completion and acceptance of the design, IBM was also awarded a contract to the value of AU$15m to build the system.

“By removing duplication and streamlining processes, SBR is helping to make reporting to government a by-product of normal business recordkeeping, thereby reducing red tape, and laying the platform for increased productivity across our economy,” said Paul Madden, Program Director of the SBR Reform initiative.

“With IBM’s technology and services expertise, we have been able to integrate reporting systems across a wide range of agencies and jurisdictions, streamlining the reporting process and freeing up businesses and reporting professionals to focus on their bottom line.”

Similar to an electronic postal system, SBR’s core services will enable businesses and their intermediaries to securely submit their regulatory reports to government directly from their accounting software.

Using an international business reporting language called XBRL based on a services-oriented architecture, IBM designed and delivered one of the five critical components of the SBR platform that enables businesses to report to a range of Australian, state and territory government agencies. Examples of the reports that are within SBR’s current scope include Business Activity Statements and PAYG returns (ATO), financial statements (ASIC), and payroll tax (State Revenue Offices).

Key benefits expected from the SBR roll-out include:

“The Australian Government’s Standard Business Reporting initiative serves as a great example of how Government can take advantage of technology to provide businesses with smarter and more productive ways to work,” said Sarah Adam-Gedge, IBM’s Public Sector Leader for Global Business Services. 

“IBM’s global expertise in smarter government transformation programs has helped the Government to free up the way Australian organisations do business.”

IBM will provide ongoing application maintenance for the SBR Core Services system, under a 12-month agreement worth $2.7m, signed in May 2010.


About IBM’s government industry framework

The IBM Government Industry Framework is the software technology backbone that allows SBR’s core services to enable agencies to build an integrated platform for their operations based on industry standards.  This new framework utilises elements of IBM’s entire software portfolio including WebSphere, Rational, Tivoli, Lotus and Information Management products.

About the SBR initiative

The SBR program is being coordinated by the Treasury with a governing board that includes the heads of all the participating agencies, providing a level of multi-agency support unprecedented in previous programs. Led by the Australian Treasury, the agencies participating in SBR are: the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA); Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC); Australian Taxation Office (ATO); and all State and Territory Government revenue offices.

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